TODAY IN HISTORY


Today is Wednesday, June 17, the 169th day of 2020. There are 197 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On June 17, 1972, President Richard Nixon’s eventual downfall began with the arrest of five burglars inside the Democratic headquarters in Washington, D.C.’s Watergate complex.

On this date:

In 1579, Sir Francis Drake arrived in present-day northern California, naming it New Albion and claiming English sovereignty.

In 1775, the Revolutionary War Battle of Bunker Hill resulted in a costly victory for the British, who suffered heavy losses.

In 1928, Amelia Earhart embarked on a trans-Atlantic flight from Newfoundland to Wales with pilots Wilmer Stultz and Louis Gordon, becoming the first woman to make the trip as a passenger.

In 1930, President Herbert Hoover signed the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, which boosted U.S. tariffs to historically high levels, prompting foreign retaliation.

In 1953, U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas stayed the execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, originally set for the next day, the couple’s 14th wedding anniversary. (They were put to death June 19.)

In 1963, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Abington (Pa.) School District v. Schempp, struck down, 8-1, rules requiring the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer or reading of Biblical verses in public schools.

In 1986, President Ronald Reagan announced the retirement of Chief Justice Warren Burger, who was succeeded by William Rehnquist.

In 1994, after leading police on a slow-speed chase on Southern California freeways, O.J. Simpson was arrested and charged with murder in the slayings of his ex-wife, Nicole, and her friend, Ronald Goldman. (Simpson was later acquitted in a criminal trial but held liable in a civil trial.)

In 2009, President Barack Obama extended some benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Peter Lupus is 88. Movie director Ken Loach is 84. Actor William Lucking is 79. Singer Barry Manilow is 77. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is 77. Comedian Joe Piscopo is 69. Actor Mark Linn-Baker is 66. Actor Jon Gries (gryz) is 63. Rock singer Jello Biafra is 62. Movie producer-director-writer Bobby Farrelly is 62. Actor Thomas Haden Church is 60. Actor Greg Kinnear is 57. Actress Kami Cotler is 55. Olympic gold medal speed skater Dan Jansen is 55.

Thought for Today: “One has two duties — to be worried and not to be worried.” — E.M. Forster, British author (1879-1970).